Help resolve a dispute?

My friend has run out of chain lube. I offered him some of mine, but he said “Nah, i’ll just use WD40”.
A debate about using WD40 as chain lube ensued.


Can WD40 be used as chain lube?

I use it to clean the chain,

My veiw is …WD40 is a shite lubricant for chains :slight_smile:

WD40 just doesn’t stick to the chain like chain lube will and with the prices of WD40 I don’t see why your mate doesn’t use chain lube.

Also, theres probably something to do with the temperatures the lubes work best at or something along those lines.

its a degreaser not the best thing to use on your chain as a lube

WD40 will eventually rot the rubber rings (O or X) and the chain will be scrap. Engine oil can be used but it flings off and makes one hell of a mess. Stick to chain lube IMHO.

WD40 is just light fish oil

WD40 is ok, but not as good as WD50.

It’s not a lubricant. So no don’t use it to lube a chain. Use old engine oil if your mate is hard up…

he’d be better off pissing on it…

Where does this “WD40 rots the O rings cwap” come from? Just another urban myth as far as I can tell.

It’s just a light semi synthetic oil that’s a bit overpriced and while mineral oil might rot latex rubber, it’s many a year since that turned up in mechanical components.

Agreed it’s not an ideal chain lube, but it’s better than no lube at all.

If I had just bought a bike with a really rusty chain and had no other option like.

1 Ride bike home and in the process bust chain.

2 Use WD40 as it was the only oily stuff to hand.

Then I would use it as an emergency get out of goal card but other than that, no.


:smiley: one of the best replies so far!!

Exactly what I thought so I did a quick google and somebody has done some experimentation

Doesn’t make it a good chain lube but it seems to put the o-ring rotting myth to bed.


its great for cleaning a really mucky chain, but good chain cleaner does it better, martins.right, pissing on it would.better than lubing it with WD, which is too.light to chain lube, use.good.oily lube, not.wax,.cos.its ****.


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monkimark posts a link to decently carried out tests that “prove” WD40 does not rot O rings, a light semi synthetic oil, but Ratty46
still thinks pissing on the chain would be better.

O.K., that’s not something the guy tested, but I’d suggest uric acid is not quite as good as something that’s a light lubricant.

Like I said, WD40 is not ideal, but better than nothing. I’d add, probably an awful lot better than piss.

isn’t piss rather salty too? as in the opposite of what a lube should do?

As far as the WD40 is concerned, I’d use it as a chain lube for as far as it took to get to a shop to buy some proper lube.